Sseven weeks before the referendum on November 6th to vote out the Lord Mayor Peter Feldman (SPD), the Frankfurt Greens are formally initiating a process to find what they consider to be the most suitable candidate for the next mayoral election. In the course of the district general meeting, the Greens formed a selection committee for this purpose. This is the first time in the history of the Frankfurt party. The commission consists of seven people. Among them are three who were elected from among the membership during the meeting. The committees had previously determined that party leader Julia Frank should be a member of the commission, city councilor Martina Düwel for the parliamentary group and honorary city councilor Anna Gundel for the Greens in the magistrate. The Green Youth named Leah Luwisch.
But who is wanted now? The party tells the commission that a “qualified candidature” is needed. The Greens have clearer ideas about this. "We need someone with a heart and vision," said former parliamentary group leader Ursula auf der Heide, "someone who can handle the crisis." Regardless of whether it is about the climate or energy crisis or the station district. Above all, a person is needed who is “open and able to connect with almost all milieus”. The task now is to find the person “who has the best chance of getting into the runoff election”.
"Best Chances of Winning"
For Greens member Michel Doermer, this is formulated too modestly: The challenge is to find someone “who has the best chance of winning the next mayoral election and not just wins the runoff election”. To do this, the person must be able to win votes from other political camps.
Karin Guder, long-time mayor in the north end, who was elected to the selection committee by the grassroots, demands that the candidate must do justice to the entire population of Frankfurt, i.e. also reach the citizens beyond the Green milieu: from bankers to nurses, from freelancers until retirement. It must be clear where "the Greens will lead this city," said Guder: Towards an "ecological, social and liberal city."
Alexander Mitch, leader of the Greens in Gallus, who was also elected to the selection committee alongside Liisa Pärssinen, calls for a candidate who brings “attitude, conviction and courage” and “brings the city together with us”. Nothing less than a "strong, promising candidate" is needed.
The Greens agree that they “have the best election chances”. After all, they have won every election in Frankfurt since the 2018 state elections: "We are the strongest political force." Party leader Frank is certain: "Frankfurt needs a restart". Frankfurt is ready for a Green mayor.
"The good news is there is no shortage of people," said one member. But the problem with the Greens is that there isn't one person who is the center of attention. Numerous names are circulating, such as those of City Councilor Hilime Arslaner and Mayor Nargess Eskandari-Grünberg. Both are said to have ambitions. Treasurer Bastian Bergerhoff, who successfully led the Greens into the current coalition, is also mentioned.
However, everything indicates that the Greens are looking beyond the narrow Frankfurt circle. Two names are mentioned: federal party spokesman Omid Nouripour, who was the first in Frankfurt to win a Bundestag mandate for the Greens, and Manuela Rottmann. The Parliamentary State Secretary in the Berlin Ministry of Agriculture was Head of the Environment Department from 2006 to 2012. In 2012 she was considered a promising mayoral candidate. At that time, however, she temporarily withdrew from politics.
The commission that has now been convened must start talks quickly. It should submit a proposal to the members "as soon as the mayor is voted out, resigned or his term of office ends in the next four to five months". It is said that the last passage was added because Feldmann never knows how he will act, whether he will still voluntarily resign, which was originally announced for the end of January.